FIRST PRIZE: ALINA HAMIRANI

 ‘Shakespeare of Your Times – Creative Writing Competition’ at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya held on 06 February 2017

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“Come on, Juliet, you cannot just sit at home on a weekend and read books. We have to wear our gorgeous dresses that your mother just sent you. Come on, live a little! After all, you are Juliet Capulet, the daughter of the multi-billionaire,” said Roslina.

 

“But, Roslina, you know I hate going out and I know what you’re thinking about,” said Juliet looking at Rosalina.

 

“What? What am I thinking about?” said Rosalina with a mischievous smile.

 

“Don’t you fool me, Rosalina,” she said, shaking her head.

 

“Come on, Juliet! Let’s go to the club. Let’s have fun!” said Rosalina with a puppy face.

 

“Okay  …Okay… Let’s go!” said Juliet, getting up from her armchair.

 

“Let me get ready. As you said, let’s put to good use the dresses my mother sent,” said Juliet.

 

There was a door across their room. Juliet walked towards it and took her dresses out and finally decided on wearing a short black dress with sleeves and black stilettos whereas Rosalina decided to wear a red skirt and black shirt paired with black boots. They walked out of Juliet’s apartment and took the cab to the best club in town.

 

“Come on, Juliet,” said, Rosaline.

 

“I’m right behind you, “Juliet said, smiling at her.

 

They entered the club. The music caused her heart to beat faster the smell of smoke and alcohol hit her nostrils.

 

“Let’s go dance,” said Roslina, pulling Juliet with her.

 

They danced for a little while but Juliet was already out of breath and decided to get a drink. As she walked to the bar, she saw a very handsome man walking towards the bar, wearing a black suit. She quickly looked away as he noticed her staring at him. She quickly walked to the bar and ordered a martini to cool her heated cheeks.

 

“I could buy you a drink, but I’d be jealous of the glass,” said Romeo.  Juliet just shook her head.

 

“Did it hurt?” he said.

 

“What hurt?” Juliet said, looking confused.

 

“Falling from heaven,” he said with a smirk.

 

“Does this always work?” said Juliet.

 

“Most of the time,” said Romeo.

 

“I guess I’m not one of them,” she said smiling at him.

 

“How about this? Is your name Google? ‘Cause you’re everything I’m searching for!” he said.

 

“Okay,” she said, laughing. “You got me there. It was a good one.”

 

“Tell me your name,” said Romeo.

 

“I’m only telling you because of the last line. It was hilarious,” said Juliet.

 

“My name’s Juliet and you are…?” she said

 

“Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night!” he said.

 

“Okay, enough with the lines! Stop acting like Romeo,” she said, giggling.

 

“My name is Romeo,” he said.

 

“You must be joking!” she said, looking shocked.

 

“Not at all,” said Romeo, laughing.

 

“Juliet! Juliet! Come on, let’s go. Your dad just texted me. You have some ball to attend tomorrow,” said Roslina, walking towards Juliet.

 

“Wait, Juliet, can I have your number?” said Romeo.

 

“I don’t think we should meet after this. You won’t be interested in me,” said Juliet, walking towards Roslina, giving Romeo a sad smile and leaving him in a daze.

 

He shook his head tried to understand. “What just happened? Why wouldn’t I be interested in her?”

She’s so beautiful she leaves me speechless,” he thought, thinking about her.

 

“Sweet, sweet home,” mumbled Juliet.

Walking towards her apartment… Ring …Ring….

 

“Who would be calling me at 2 a.m.?” she said.

 

“Hello!” she said, picking up her phone.

 

“Hello! Dad, yeah. I’ll be there, okay. Sorry for not picking your phone up. I’ll not be late this time. Bye!” she said, cutting her phone off.

 

“God! I should just go to sleep. It’s been a long night after seeing the blue eyed Romeo,” she said, while getting into her bed.

 

“Oh my god, why can’t I stop thinking about him! I should stop thinking about him. He would never like me after getting to know my past and he deserves someone better, not someone like me,” she thought.

 

Juliet heard birds chirping and felt the sun on her right cheek. She stretched her arms and got out of her bed. She couldn’t sleep last night after thinking about Romeo.

 

“Gosh, I should stop already,” she thought.

 

She walked towards her kitchen and made coffee. She changed into a suit and walked down her apartment. Ring ….Ring ……”Who would this be now?” she said.

 

“Roslina?”

 

“Yes, it’s me. Where are you? Everyone’s waiting for you at the office.”

 

“Sorry, I’m just coming,” she said, sounding breathless.

 

“Come quickly!”

Juliet crossed the road. Her head throbbed after running.

 

“Finally!” she said in relief as she ran towards her office.

 

“Roslina,” she said as she entered her office. As she looked up, she saw someone she never expected to see.

 

“Romeo,” she whispered in shock

 

She stared at Romeo. “Is this a dream?”

 

“No,” he said.

 

“I’m really standing here,” he said with a smirk.

 

“I believe you are Juliet Capulet.”

 

Juliet just nodded.

“I’m Romeo Montague. I believe we have a deal to discuss,” he said with a smile.

 

“Yes… we do,” she said, stuttering.

 

“You are making a fool of yourself, Juliet,” she thought.

 

“She looks really surprised after looking at me. I caught her staring at me and she just turned away blushing. She’s really beautiful. I wish she would just go on a date with me,” he thought with a sad smile.

 

“Okay, so the terms have been accepted by your company, Mr Montague. I believe we can just sign the papers and we’ll be done,” she said.

 

“Whatever you say, Juliet,” he said smiling at her.

 

“I believe we’re done here. It’s a pleasure meeting you, Mr Montague,” Juliet said, extending her hand.

 

“Pleasure’s all mine, Juliet,” he said, as he took her hand and kissed it.

 

“I believe we are done,” said Juliet.

 

“Not yet, Juliet. Why don’t you grab a coffee with me?” he said.

 

“I do not think that’s professional and I have a meeting that starts in ten minutes,” she said.

 

“Okay, this time I’m letting you go but not for long,” he said as we walked out of her office.

 

“Oh my god! What just happened?!” Juliet said as she fell on her chair. “I have to stop thinking about him,” she thought as she fell asleep.

 

“Juliet! Wake up!” screamed Roslina.

 

“Yes, what do you want, Roslina?”  said Juliet, shouting.

 

“What do I want? Don’t you remember you have to attend the masquerade that your father told you about?” said Roslina.

 

“Oh God! What’s the time?” she said.

 

“Its 7:00 already. You have been sleeping since 1:00.” The masquerade starts at 9:00,” said Roslina.

 

“Okay…,” she said.

 

“Call Robert and telling him to bring my dress from Alan,” said Juliet.

 

“I already did.” “Now hurry up and go home,” said Roslina.

 

Juliet ran down and sat in her car. “I cannot be late again. Dad would kill me this time,” she thought.

 

She ran inside her apartment and showered as quickly as possible. She wore her red gown and did her hair.

 

“Okay, I have fifteen minutes to reach the masquerade,” she thought.

 

She sat in her car and reached the venue in ten minutes.

 

“Thank God,” she said.

 

As she came out of her car, the paparazzi started asking her questions.

 

“Are you single?”

 

“Did you make a deal with the Montagues?”

 

She walked inside the hall and wore her black mask.

 

“Hello Father and hello Mother,” she said as she walked toward him and pecked his cheek.

“Hello Juliet,” said Capulet.

 

“This is my daughter Juliet,” said Capulet, introducing her to the businessmen.

 

“It’s nice to meet you, gentlemen, but if you would please excuse me,” said Juliet with a smile as she walked to the bar.

 

“It’s such a stressing day, meeting Romeo, and now I can’t stop thinking about him,” Juliet thought.

 

“Would you like to dance with me?” said a voice behind Juliet.

 

“I hope you don’t mind if I refuse,” said Juliet.

 

“Just once dance, please,” said the mysterious man with the golden mask.

 

“Okay, but only one dance,” said Juliet.

 

“Your word is my command,” said the man.

 

They walked towards the middle of the hall and started dancing.

 

“I must say, you are an amazing dancer,” said the man.

 

“You’re not bad yourself, ” said Juliet, as she spun.

 

“The song’s over. It was nice to meet you, mystery man,” said Juliet with a smile.

 

Juliet turned away but the mystery man pulled Juliet close to him.

 

“Romeo,” said Juliet, surprised that she didn’t recognize him before.

 

“Hello! Romeo,” she said.

 

“How about one more dance, Juliet?” he said.

 

“No… leave me,” said Juliet.

 

“Why do you keep running away from me?” said Romeo.

 

“Because you would never want me,” said Juliet.

 

“Why wouldn’t I want you, Juliet? You’re the most beautiful woman I ever met.”

 

“You would never want me if you knew what I was,” said Juliet.

 

“No matter what happens I would always want you. I fell in love with you when I first saw you,” said Romeo.

 

“You would never love me if you knew what I was,” she said with tears in her eyes.

 

“Please tell me, Juliet. Why wouldn’t I want you?” he said with a pleading look in his eyes.

 

Because …..Because… I’m a Trans…. said Juliet, whispering.

 

“A what? Juliet?  Tell me, love,” said Romeo.

 

“A…trans…gender…..transgender,” said Juliet and ran out of the hall as fast as she could.

 

Romeo stood there shocked but quickly regained his consciousness and ran after Juliet as fast as he could.

 

“Juliet, wait!” said Romeo, screaming.

 

“Let me go!” said Juliet.

 

“I love you, Juliet. I do not care that you are a transgender. I love you and I want you to love me,” said Romeo, as a tear slipped from his eye.

 

“But… Romeo, you deserve someone better than me,” said Juliet with a sad smile.

 

“No one is better than you, Juliet. I want you and I love you,” said Romeo.

 

“Oh, Romeo… I love you too,” said Juliet.

 

“Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night,” said Romeo to make Juliet laugh.

 

“Oh…Romeo,” said Juliet, blushing.

 

“Now how about I drop you home,” said Romeo.

 

“I’d like that,” said Juliet.

 

They both sat in Romeo’s car and went Juliet’s apartment.

 

“Juliet, would you like have lunch with my family tomorrow?” said Romeo.

 

“I would love too…but…,” said Juliet.

 

“It will be okay, Juliet. I’ll be there with you,” Romeo said.

 

“Okay… Romeo,” she said.

 

They both talked all night and ended up sleeping on the couch.

 

“Juliet, love…wake up,” said Romeo.

 

“Let me sleep, Romeo,” said Juliet.

 

“Love, we have to go for lunch to my parents’,” he said.

 

“Oh my god!” screamed Juliet and ran inside the washroom and quickly changed her clothes to a yellow sundress.

 

“Juliet, you look beautiful,” said Romeo, as she walked towards him.

 

“You don’t look bad yourself,” said Juliet blushing.

 

They walked towards Romeo’s car and went straight to Romeo’s parents’ house.

 

Juliet rubbed her sweaty hands against her dress. She was worried that Romeo’s family would not accept her.

 

“Don’t worry, love,” said Romeo.

 

Juliet just nodded.

 

“We here, Juliet. Let’s go,” he said as he pulled Juliet out of the car.

 

As Romeo and Juliet went inside, Romeo’s father welcomed Romeo.

 

“Come down, Mrs. Montague,” said Mr. Montague.

 

“Hello… Mr. and Mrs. Montague,” said Juliet.

 

As she looked up to greet them, she was shocked as she looked at Mrs Montage and realized that Mrs Montague was her surgeon and she knew that she was a man before.

 

“Hello, Romeo. Who is she?” said Mr. Montague.

 

‘She’s Juliet Capulet, my girlfriend,” said Romeo, smiling at Juliet.

 

“This is despicable! You can’t love her, Romeo. She’s a transgender,” said Mrs Montague.

 

“I know that, mother, but I love her,” said Romeo.

 

“Are you crazy Romeo?” said Mr Montague.

 

“Romeo, you have to break up with her right now!” said Mrs Montague.

 

“I will never leave her, mother. I love her and you have to accept her. She will be my future wife,” said Romeo.

 

Juliet started crying at hearing how much Romeo loved her.

 

“You cannot do that. She cannot be our daughter-in-law till I’m alive,” said Mr Montague.

 

He ran into his room and took his gun out.

 

“I will kill her right now,” said Mr Montague.

 

“You cannot do that, father! Stop this right now!” said Romeo, coming in front of Juliet.

 

“Let’s go from here, Juliet. Father’s going crazy!” said Romeo.

 

As they were about to leave, Mr Montague shot the gun and the bullet pierced through   Juliet’s body.

 

“Juliet!” screamed Romeo.

 

“Eyes, look your last! Arms, take your last embrace! I love you, Romeo,” said Juliet, smiling as her eyes closed.

 

“Father!” screamed Romeo and took the gun out of his hand and shot himself.

 

As Romeo died next to Juliet, he said, “Goodnight, goodnight! Parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say goodnight till it be morrow.”